Eagles Watch

Chelsea loanee, Ola Aina scores on 20th Serie A appearance

The profile of Ola Aina has continued to rise as the Chelsea youngster scored a delightful header on his 20th Serie A appearance for Torino, yesterday. The versatile defender’s goal which came in the 31st minute secured all three points for his team against Udinese. If he continues in this trend, Aina is likely to be handed a contract by the Italian club as he is unlikely to get playing time at his parent club, Chelsea in the nearest future.
Meanwhile, barely a week after maintaining his record of keeping clean sheet on his debut, Super Eagles goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho has hit a purple patch as his new Cypriot club, Anorthosis Famagusta left him out of their squad against Nea Salamis, following an investigation into a health certificate issued to him by the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA).
In England, Alex Iwobi scored his first goal for Arsenal since December as the Gunners secured a crucial away win at Huddersfield Town.
The News Editor, ADEBAYO OLODAN combs Europe, Asia and Africa for the performances and news surrounding Super Eagles players and hopefuls.

Iwobi delighted to score 3rd EPL goal
Alex Iwobi is pleased to have ended his seven-game goal drought for Arsenal with a goal in Saturday’s 2-1 away win at Huddersfield Town.
He was however quick to add that Alex Lacazette’s neat finish from close range after a brilliant team play thrilled him more.
Iwobi struck his third Premier League goal of the season to set Arsenal on their way to their first away win in seven games at the John smith stadium on Saturday.
Lacazette’s tidy finish from Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross ensured victory despite a late Huddersfield fight-back which resulted in an owngoal from Sead Kolasinac.
The 22-year-old Iwobi who last scored a goal in the EPL in December for Arsenal in their 3-1 win over Burnley has now had a hand in 10 goals in all competitions for Arsenal this season (four goals, six assists) – his best return in a single campaign for the Gunners.
“As soon as I saw it coming in the air and saw the defender coming, I thought I just had to get a good connection, and luckily for me it went through the guy’s leg with a bit of a deflection and went in,”Iwobi told his club’s website.
“No, [this nutmeg] wasn’t on purpose, I promise!”
“We’ve been working a lot on transitioning when we get the ball, to counter-attack and attack with speed.”
“So when the goal went in it was a great team move and I was also happy for Laca to get the goal as well.”
Iwobi also praised Ainsley Maitland-Niles for a match-winning assist.
“Ainsley did well today. He’s an attacking threat. You can see that he can get up and down, he’s got a lot of stamina. It’ll do him a lot of good and hopefully he continues this run of form.”

Nigeria-eligible keeper, Bazunu handed Man City debut
Nigeria-eligible goalkeeper, Gavin Bazunu pulled on a Manchester City shirt for the first time in his career as their U18 team suffered a 2-1 loss to Stoke City in the U18 Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
The Republic of Ireland youth international had a couple of training sessions with his new teammates prior to his maiden appearance as his former club Shamrock Rovers confirmed his move to England was done and dusted two days back.
It was a full debut for Bazunu as he was named in Man City starting line-up along with fellow players of Nigerian descent Fisayo Dele-Bashiru and Oluwatimilehin Sobowale.
The 16-year-old prevented the Potters from finding the net in a goalless first half but the deadlock was broken by Ethon Varian two minutes after the restart before James Jennings netted a second for the visitors on 58 minutes.
Bazunu was the star of Shamrock Rovers youth teams before he was promoted to the first team, for whom he posted four shutouts in six matches in 2018.
He will compete with Louie Moulden, Lewis Thomas, James Trafford and Cieran Slicker for the goalkeeper’s spot at Man City U18s.

Mikel rues Middlesbrough home draw against Leeds
John Obi Mikel is disappointed with the outcome of Middlesbrough’s Championship clash against fellow promotion chasers, Leeds United at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.
Tony Pulis’ men were held to a 1-1 draw by the visitors who grabbed their equalising goal through Kalvin Philips deep into stoppage time.
Lewis Wing who was later substituted due to injury gave Middlesbrough the lead two minutes after the break.
“It’s a hard one to take. We’ve played really well the whole game,” Mikel told Middlesbrough’s official website.
“We did exactly what we wanted to do. We were aggressive, we won the ball, and got in their faces. We tried to play and created chances.
“Everything was there today for us to have a good game.
“The fans were amazing; they were right behind us pushing us forward.
“To concede in the last minute is disappointing but we have to keep going.
“We have another big game on Wednesday and hopefully we can get the three points then.”
Mikel, who joined the club on a short term deal in January played the entire duration of the game.
He has featured in three games in all competitions for Boro since the switch.

Derby in talks to sign Efe
Derby County is in talks with free agent defender, Efe Ambrose over a short-term contract.
Frank Lampard has been eager to bolster his options at centre back and has turned to the 30-year-old who left Scottish Premiership side Hibernian in January after activating a clause in his contract.
Ambrose has been in good form this season and despite the offer of a new deal from the Easter Road club, he wanted to explore interest from Championship clubs.
Bolton and Nottingham Forest have both been in contact but the prospect of lining up for Lampard and his high flying Derby side excites the vastly experienced Ambrose.
Talks took place on Wednesday afternoon and, pending a medical, all sides are hopeful of concluding a deal before the end of the week.
Ambrose, who played over 160 games for Celtic including in the Champions League, is likely to sign until the end of the season.
Hibernian dramatically withdrew a six-month offer to Efe that would have seen the defender return to Easter Road.

Chelsea loanee, Ola Aina scores on 20th Serie A appearance
Chelsea youngster, Ola Aina has gone under the radar this season, the defender could be about to receive the plaudits he deserves after he scored a header for Torino, yesterday.
In the 31st min of Torino’s tie with Udinese, the versatile 22-year-old scored his first goal in the Serie A as he rose highest to score a lovely header.
Aina’s goal was all his team needed to secure three points against an Udinese team that paraded another Nigerian defender in William Troost – Ekong.
Aina has played as a wing back this season and as a wide midfielder. Though he is naturally right-footed, the youngster is extremely comfortable with his left-foot – this has allowed him to play on either flank for Torino this season.
It was quite fitting that Aina marked his 20th Serie A appearance with a goal and it looks like the player who spent last season on loan at Hull City could have a big future if given an opportunity at Chelsea.
At the very least, Aina deserves a chance to play back up to experienced defender, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso next season. He is a better option than Reece James, who has impressed out on loan with Wigan this season.

Onyekuru keen on permanent Galatasaray deal
Henry Onyekuru has said he is open to a permanent transfer to Turkish Super Lig club Galatasaray.
Onyekuru, 21, is on a season long loan deal at Galatasaray from English Premier League side, Everton.
He spent last season on loan at Belgian side, Anderlecht but opposed staying with the former champions beyond that period despite the club having an option to keep him for another term.
“I’m very happy here,” Onyekuru told Kralspor.ensonhaber.com.
“I love Galatasaray. My dream is to play in the Premier League, but I’m having some problems with the work permit.
“If they agree with Everton, I will stay at Galatasaray.
Onyekuru has enjoyed a fruitful spell so far with Galatasaray scoring nine times in 18 league appearances.
He scored his first career in a league clash against Ankaragucu in January.

Uzoho caught up in Cyprus ‘health certificate’ probe
Francis Uzoho was on Saturday left out of Anorthosis Famagusta’s squad against Nea Salamis, after he was caught up in an investigation into a health certificate issued to him by the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA).
Uzoho, 20, joined the Cypriot giants on loan from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna on deadline day, in search of top-flight football ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Then, barely 24 hours later, he made a winning debut against Apollon Limassol, but the losing club filed a protest citing irregularities in the mandatory health certificate handed to the Nigerian by KOA.
Apollon have questioned the “validity of the health card”, questioning how Famagusta were able to acquire the document in time.
Apollon claim in their statement that Uzoho arrived in Cyprus at 1605 on Friday 1 February and that the KOA department had already shut at 14.30 that same day.
Anorthosis, who are sixth in the Cypriot first division, wrote: “Due to the climate of recent days and to avoid further disruption and rumours, Francis Uzoho will not be involved in Saturday’s clash with Nea Salamis.”
The KOA confirmed in a statement that it has has taken ‘further steps to fully investigate the Francis Uzoho case’ and also added that ‘a police investigation is underway’.
Both Uzoho and his representatives have declined to comment on the situation.
Nigeria’s first-choice keeper moved to Cyprus after an injury-hit campaign and lack of regular football in Spain became a source of concern for Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr ahead of the tournament in Egypt.
Capped 12 times by Nigeria, he played all three matches as the Super Eagles exited the 2018 World Cup in the group stage.
In October 2017, Uzoho became the youngest foreign goalkeeper to ever play in La Liga and marked a memorable Deportivo La Coruna debut with a clean sheet.
Uzoho was part of the victorious Nigeria squad at the 2013 Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, albeit without playing a single minute at the tournament.
He only arrived at Deportivo from Qatar’s Aspire Academy in January 2017.

Omosuyi join Al-Riffa
Widely travelled striker, Omosuyi Dayo has joined Al-Riffa SC of Bahrain.

Sensational midfielder, Michael Ibe who plays for Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Akwa United has successfully completed his move to Al-Karmel SC of Jordan on a two-year deal.

Defensive midfielder, Reuben Gabriel has joined Saudi First Division team Najran FC. Gabriel who starred at the African Nations Champion and played in Belgium has struggled for form since he quit the domestic league for career abroad.

Chippa Utd to make decision on Akpoveta
Chippa United is expected to make a decision on Oke Akpoveta who last week arrived at the club and has been training with the team.
After recently signing Botswana international goalkeeper Mwampole Masule, who joined the club as a replacement for Daniel Akpeyi after the Nigerian shot-stopper’s move to Kaizer Chiefs, the Chilli Boys have welcomed Akpoveta for training with Clinton Larsen’s team.
Akpoveta has previously played in Denmark and Sweden for the likes of Brondby, Lyngby and Helsingborg, among other clubs.
According to sources, the 27-year-old is set to be given some time to impress for a chance to potentially join the Port Elizabeth outfit at a later stage.
The Chilli Boys are keen on using all the options they have to strengthen the squad for a chance to move the team away from relegation zone.

1.    Manchester City is the first top flight team since Tottenham Hotspur in December 1965 to score more than once in 15 consecutive home league matches.
2.    Chelsea has conceded four goals in consecutive away top flight matches for the first time since December 1990.
3.    Sergio Aguero has become just the 6th player in Premier League history to register 200 goal involvements for a single club in the competition after Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Ryan Giggs (Man Utd), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Frank Lampard (Chelsea) and Steven Gerrard (Liverpool).
4.    Raheem Sterling scored his first Premier League goal against Chelsea in his 11th appearance against them, scoring with his 13th shot against the Blues.
5.    Pep Guardiola has lost more league matches against Chelsea (3) than he has versus other teams in his managerial career.
6.    Only Harry Kane (20) has score more Premier League goals for Spurs at Wembley than Son Heung-Min (6).
7.    Leicester’s Jamie Vardy has scored 29 goals in 52 Premier League games against the big six sides; three more than any other player since 2014-15 season.
8.    Christian Eriksen has scored 20 Premier League goals from outside the box-more than any other player since his debut in September 2013.
9.    Leicester has missed each of their last two penalties in the Premier League – James Maddision v Cardiff and Jamie Vardy v Tottenham.
10.    Davinson Sanchez is the 147th different player to score in the EPL for Tottenham- only West Ham United has as many.
11.    Only Liverpool has scored more goals from set pieces situations (excluding penalties) than Brighton this season (12).

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